Saturday, 27 July 2013

On the paths of the Good Soldier Švejk (part 1)

One of the great things about travelling with my friends from postcrossing is that they have amazing hobbies that help me to develop both my knowledge and my muscles. Edyta took me with her on a bike tour dedicated to the Good Soldier Švejk.

The tour was running mainly in Ukraine, close to the Polish border. 

We started in Przemyśl, where the last part of Švejk's adventures took place. Ukraine is not part of the European Union so passports are required.

We checked the bikes twice.

 We also made sure everybody knows where we are coming from.

Finally, we cross the border. I think this is the first time that I take you to a country that uses the cyrillic alphabet. And no my friends, these are not "Russian letters", they are spread in many countries in the region. On top, in Ukrainian they use a few additional letters that are specific only for this language.

The biggest city on our way was Sambir or Sambor in Polish.

The market square is spacious.

The pink building in the back is the Town Hall. I think it is a very optimistic colour for a town hall.

The tower with the clock it is 38 meters high.

I am sure that you noticed the sculpture in the frame, the same that was on the sign at the border. This is the Trident, the coat of arms of Ukraine. Its history is more than 1,000 years old

Sambir has a long history that you can see through its multicultural heritage. Like all the surrounding land, until late eighteenth century it was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. There are still some Poles living there, they even have their own church.

If you would have doubts about it, it is enough to check whose statue is next to it. Yes, you are right, it is the Polish Pope John Paul II.

Obviously the city has also orthodox churches.

More than one actually. I was once more impressed by the colours of the buildings. In Poland most churches are white. Or grey.

Inside the main colour is gold. It is typical for many churches in the region, both catholic and orthodox.

As you probably guessed, the city also has an old synagogue. It is no longer operational. Actually it houses now a night club. Quite odd to be honest.

Actually I had a feeling that many public buildings in the city were in a pretty bad shape. Like the court building.

The same is true for the library building.

Though the entrance is still inviting. Maybe they have books about Švejk ?

Finally the summer school. It must have been a beautiful building in the old days.

This was a long and tiring day. We will stay overnight in Sambir and move on tomorrow. Everybody deserved a good beer. Švejk style.

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